Long-term plan for port's western basin
Friday 7 August 2009
A new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry is at the heart of a draft 30-year development plan for the Port of Gladstone’s western basin unveiled today.
Queensland’s Coordinator-General has released a draft Port of Gladstone Western Basin Master Plan to examine future industrial and port plans and plot a sustainable level of development.
Coordinator-General Colin Jensen called for public feedback on the plan so the State Government could coordinate complex planning, infrastructure and environmental issues ahead of industrial growth.
“Gladstone is arguably Queensland’s leading industrial city, with massive refining operations and a premier port for coal and other exports,” Mr Jensen said.
“More than $40 billion worth of LNG proposals are also hoping to make Gladstone home within the next three years.
“The western basin’s role in our economic future means it is essential to undertake this far-reaching master plan to guide long-term development in Gladstone.
“We need to establish how LNG operations integrate with existing industries, the community and the environment.
“The master plan will provide a development framework for the basin and will help assess the cumulative impacts of projects on the port and surrounding lands.”
The draft plan covers an overall area of around 12,000 hectares from Friend and Laird points near The Narrows, to Auckland Point in the south and east to Boatshed Point on Curtis Island.
It includes an existing marine environment of roughly 7000 hectares, some of which is in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“Given the growth in Gladstone this area needs planning certainty and it may be that the best way to accomplish that is through a coordinated approach for industry,” Mr Jensen said.
“Over the next four weeks we’re looking for the community’s feedback on all aspects of this draft master plan. I encourage the public to get involved.”
The draft master plan examines current and future land and marine uses in the Western Basin including pipeline corridors, road and rail networks, access to Curtis Island, shipping channels and dredging needs.
It was requested by state and federal environmental agencies to provide more information about the cumulative impacts of future industrial uses and port activities. Issues under examination include:
- Kangaroo Island becoming a possible environmental area.
- A potential infrastructure corridor on Curtis Island from Laird Point to Hamilton Point.
- A bridge to Curtis Island within a 280m wide corridor that would also house gas pipelines and run across The Narrows from Friend Point to Laird Point.
- Gas pipeline licences for all LNG proponents to ensure all pipeline activities across The Narrows minimise the disturbance to the environment.
- An investigation area behind Fishermans Landing as the preferred option for dredging spoil disposal that could not exceed 450 hectares.
- Undeveloped parts of the investigation area be retained and managed to increase environmental values or as mitigation for vegetation affected by dredge spoil.
- Gladstone Ports Corporation to begin an EIS for the harbour’s outer channel.
- Consistent government approach to project assessment to minimise development in proximity to the two key marine environmental areas identified.
- Identification of marine areas within the Western Basin that could be declared environmental areas and/or designated not for immediate development.
- Expansion of current environmental monitoring, including seagrass studies.
- Public consultation on potential construction or conversion of temporary loading facilities near Fishermans Landing for recreational boating.
Mr Jensen said he had obtained the support of the Department of Environment and Resources Management, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Gladstone Ports Corporation and the Gladstone Regional Council to develop the draft master plan.
To read the draft master plan visit www.dip.qld.gov.au/lng or contact 3898 0441.
Public submissions can be lodged until September 4 to:
The Project Manager,
Port of Gladstone Western Basin Master Plan,
LNG Industry Unit,
PO Box 15009,
City East Qld 4002
A public display will also be available at the Gladstone City Library, 39 Goondoon St, from 5 pm-8 pm on Friday August 21 and all day on Saturday August 22.
Media contact: 3405 3481